LARRY MULLEN JR.

LARRY MULLEN JR.

 

Basic Background Info

 
Birth: October 31, 1961
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Band: U2
Genres: Rock, Post-Punk, Alternative Rock
Instruments: Drums, Percussion, Synthesizers
Occupation: Musician, Songwriter
Links:  
 
 

Biography

 
 
Drumming maven Larry Mullen Jr. is the driving force behind popular rock outfit U2. Larry Mullen Jr. has toured around the world and is well-known for the marching band drumming style behind so many U2 songs. For more than thirty years, U2 and Larry Mullen Jr. found a way to remain relevant and edgy - no small feat.

A native of Dublin, Larry Mullen Jr. fascination with music began on the piano, but he moved on to the drums when he was nine years old. Larry Mullen Jr.'s older sister Cecelia gave him his first drum set. Larry Mullen Jr. attended several different schools, but eventually settled in at Mount Temple. Anxious to organize a band, he posted a now-famous bulletin that read, “Drummer seeks musicians to form a band.” The young men who replied to the ad were Paul “Bono” Hewson, David “The Edge” Evans, Dick Evans, Adam Clayton, Ivan McCormick, and Peter Martin. Of the boys who responded, only Larry Mullen Jr. actually played an instrument.

They initially called themselves the Larry Mullen Band, then Feedback, and then The Hype. When McCormick and Martin left the band, The Hype became a five-piece group. They played a Limerick, Ireland, talent contest and won. Dick Evans left the band shortly thereafter, and The Hype officially changed their name to U2 during his farewell concert.

U2's debut album, Boy in 1980, captured a definitive military sound because Larry Mullen Jr. used mostly snare drum fills and rolls for the recording. In fact, when CBS Records first courted the band , they pressued the rest of the band members to fire Larry Mullen Jr., but they successfully resisted. Although Larry Mullen Jr. integrated his playing with the band's bigger sound, he always maintained elements of his early marching band education.

The religious undertones of 1987's Joshua Tree album, U2 received international obtained recognition and success. The singles "With or Without You," "In God’s Country," "Where the Streets Have No Name," and "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For" became instant classics and remain radio staples today. Larry Mullen Jr. distinguished himself as the steady, level-headed member of U2 - an attitude he echoed in his drumming.

U2 followed up the following year with Rattle and Hum, as well as with a similarly titled rockumentary about the band. The album helped sell the movie, and the movie helped sell the album. U2 consistently recorded quality innovative albums throughout the 1990s and into the new millenium. Meanwhile they used their fame to become powerful advocates for international issues including HIV/AIDS and poverty.

In 1996 Larry Mullen Jr. developed severe back problems while recording Pop with U2. Larry Mullen Jr. underwent surgery and the band delayed recording, but they started experimenting with electronic percussion while Larry recovered. During his recovery, the band continued to use drum machines. Pop marked a change in sound for U2, given the heavy incorporation of electronics. Larry Mullen Jr. continued to battle physical ailments throughout his career, including tendonitis. Larry Mullen Jr. uses special Pro-Mark drumsticks to reduce the strain and the pain.

In addition to U2, Larry Mullen Jr. has collaborated with many industry figures including Daniel Lanois, Nancy Griffith, Maria McKee, Emmylou Harris, Daniel Lanoi, Mike Mills, and Underworld. He also performed at MTV’s 1993 inaugural ball for President Bill Clinton and worked with band mate Adam Clayton to re-record the Mission: Impossible theme for the 1996 film. The theme song reached #8 on the U.S. Billboard chart and received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
 
 

Discography

 
 
Album Year Album Name Album Band
1980 Boy U2
1981 October U2
1983 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky [10 LP] U2
1983 War U2
1984 Unforgettable Fire [Video] U2
1984 Unforgettable Fire U2
1986 Back to the Centre Paul Brady
1987 Captive Original Soundtrack/The Edge
1987 Joshua Tree U2
1987 Robbie Robertson Robbie Robertson
1988 Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute to Woody Guthri Various Artists
1988 Rattle and Hum U2
1989 Acadie Daniel Lanois
1991 Achtung Baby U2
1992 King of the Blues [Box] B.B. King
1993 Zooropa U2
1994 Flyer Nanci Griffith
1994 Reality Bites Original Soundtrack
1994 Zooropa [Import] U2
1995 Miss Sarajevo Passengers
1995 Now: 1995 Various Artists
1995 Original Soundtracks 1 Passengers
1995 Wrecking Ball Emmylou Harris
1996 Mission: Impossible [Music from and Inspired by the M Original Soundtrack
1996 Mission: Impossible [Single] Original Theme
1996 Now, Vol. 34 [UK] Various Artists
1996 Theme from Mission: Impossible [UK] Larry Mullen & Adam Clayton
1996 Theme from Mission: Impossible [US #2] Larry Mullen & Adam Clayton
1996 Theme from Mission: Impossible Original Soundtrack
1997 Amazing Grace [Polygram] Various Artists
1997 DiscothËque [US #2] U2
1997 Pop [Import Bonus Tracks] U2
1997 Pop U2
1997 Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Tribute Various Artists
1997 Tibetan Freedom Concert Various Artists
1997 Trackspotting Various Artists
1998 All Time Greatest Movie Songs [UK] Various Artists
1998 Best of 1980-1990 [Japan] U2
1998 Greatest Hits [MCA] B.B. King
2000 All That You Can't Leave Behind [Bonus CD] U2
2000 All That You Can't Leave Behind U2
2002 Best of 1990-2000 [Bonus Tracks/DVD] U2
2002 Best of 1990-2000 [Japan] U2
2002 Best of 1990-2000 U2
2002 Grammy Nominees 2002 Various Artists
2002 Paramount Pictures 90th Anniversary: Memorable Songs Various Artists
2004 Anthology: Sound+Vision [2 CD & DVD] B.B. King
2004 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb [Bonus Track] U2
2004 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb [CD & DVD Deluxe Edit U2
2004 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb U2
2004 Nancy Sinatra Nancy Sinatra
2004 Reality Bites: 10th Anniversary Edition Original Soundtrack
2005 Breakthrough [Japan Bonus Tracks] Mary J. Blige
2005 Breakthrough Mary J. Blige
2005 Grammy Nominees 2005 Various Artists
2005 U2 Jukebox Various Artists
2005 Ultimate Collection B.B. King
2005 Very Best of Emmylou Harris: Heartaches & Highways Emmylou Harris
2006 Gold B.B. King
2006 U2 Phenomenon: The Independent Review U2
2006 U218 Singles [Bonus Disc] U2
2006 U218 Singles [UK Bonus DVD] U2
2006 U218 Singles [US Bonus DVD] U2
2006 U218 Singles U2
2007 Joshua Tree [20th Anniversary 2-CD/DVD] U2
2007 Joshua Tree [20th Anniversary 2-CD] U2
2007 Make Some Noise: The Amnesty International Campaign t Various Artists
2007 Songbird: Rare Tracks & Forgotten Gems Emmylou Harris
2008 Let Me Be Your Side Track: The Influence of Jimmy Rog Various Artists
2008 That'll Flat Git It!, Vol. 21 Various Artists
2008 War [Deluxe Edition] U2
2008 Pavarotti Story Luciano Pavarotti
2008 Live at Red Rocks (DVD) U2
2008 Let Me Be Your Side Track: The Influence of Jimmy Rogers Various Artists
2009 The Best of 1980-2000 U2
2009 No Line On the Horizon U2
2009 1977-1984 (Collector's Box Set) U2
2012 Ladies and Gentleman... Mr. B.B. King B.B. King
2014 Songs of Innocence U2
2014 Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Original Soundtrack) Various Artists
 

Noise

 
 
  • "People say, 'Why don't you do interviews? What do you think about this? What do you think about that?' My job in the band is to play drums, to get up on stage and hold the band together. That's what I do. At the end of the day that's all that's important. Everything else is irrelevant.'" -Larry Mullen Jr.
  • He adopted the Junior suffix for tax purposes; his father (also named Larry Mullen) kept receiving of Larry's tax bills.
  • Larry met his current girlfriend in high school, and they have been together for more than twenty years. They have three children together: Aaron Elvis, Ava, and Ezra.
  • Larry is a huge fan of Elvis and Harley Davidson motorcycles.
  • Stylus Magazine put Larry Mullen at #21 on their list of the 50 Greatest Rock Drummers.
 

Instruments of Choice

 
 

Drums

Drums: Yamaha
Cymbals: Paiste, Zildjian
Hardware: Yamaha
Heads: Remo
Electronics: Roland
Percussion:  
Sticks: Pro-Mark 5A Japanese Oak
 
 

Pics & Clips